Dear Columban friends,
Often, when I am talking to my fellow Columbans, I am reminded of Captain Kirk’s words at the start of the TV and film series “Star Trek”, where he says that his mission is to, “boldly go where no-one has gone before”.
That’s just like us. The speciality of Columban mission is to do things that others hesitate to do, to go to places where others fear to tread.
Here are just a few examples of Columbans I have encountered recently who bear this out.
Fr. Tomás King, on his way back to Pakistan where he ministers to poor and threatened Catholic tribal minorities in the deserts of Sindh, close to the Indian border.
Fr. Salustino Villalobos, a former student of mine from Peru, now about to assume a parish high in the mountains of Taiwan amongst isolated indigenous communities.
Fr. Ed O’Connell, returning from the city of Lima in Peru after years in charge of a school serving special needs youngsters from humble families.
Marjorie Engcoy and John Din, Columban Lay Missionaries partnering with the Higaonon indigenous community in the Philippines to plant and care for trees that will restore the natural habitat on which they depend.
They, and Columbans like them, such as Fr. Liam O’Callaghan and lay missionary Latai Muller featured in the ‘Far East’ magazine, are sustained by their faith in God’s plan for the world, by what they learn and receive in the service of others, and by YOUR prayers and generosity. We’re only able to go where we go, and do what we do, when you help us to do so.
I must therefore, once again, call upon your good will and ask for your financial support. Please donate to our 2023 September Appeal.
The Season of Creation began on 1st September. In May, I was one of nine pilgrims to walk in St. Columban’s footsteps in Cornwall contemplating God’s call to ecological conversion. Read about our walk on page 4 of the ‘Far East’. You are invited to organise your own pilgrimage using the prayers and reflections we used, available to download in our Resources section.
Pray with Columbans around the world during the Season of Creation (1st September-4 October). Encourage your family, friends and community to pray and take action for the care of God’s beautiful planet, our common home.
Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your kindness. May God bless you always.
Yours Faithfully in Christ,
Fr. John Boles SSC
Columban Director in Britain